HomeTrendingIndia tightens economic screws, builds military muscle against China

India tightens economic screws, builds military muscle against China

The Indian government has rejected a proposal by a Chinese electric vehicle maker for setting up a manufacturing unit in India.

In order to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in India with its Hyderabad-based partner Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MWIL), Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD proposed an investment of $1 billion. India’s opposition has a security component.

After BYD’s unsuccessful bid for an EV factory, China encouraged India to mend fences. On the margins of the BRICS summit, top Beijing diplomat Wang Yi, who is now taking the place of the missing former foreign minister Qi Gang, opined that both nations should uphold the strategic assessment that they do not constitute a threat to one another.

China seems to waver between carrot-dangling and sword-rattling in its revamped approach towards India. China will benefit if it starts to give up the idea of treating India as it did in 1962.

It must acknowledge sooner rather than later that a large portion of its India policy is unrealistic and unproductive.

India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval took the lead. during the Friends of BRICS gathering on July 24 in South Africa. Ajit Doval informed his Chinese counterpart about the state of affairs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China border since 2020, noting that the strategic trust and the public and political foundation of the two countries’ relations had both diminished.

In order to fully address the problem and bring peace and tranquillity back to the border areas, he emphasised the “importance of continuing efforts.”

Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and China’s foreign minister Wang Yi had met a few days earlier in Jakarta, Indonesia, to talk about unresolved concerns pertaining to peace and tranquilly in border regions. Wang oversaw the office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s foreign affairs commission at the time.

The foreign minister of India has stated repeatedly that the situation along the LAC is abnormal and that China’s aggressive posture is the biggest barrier to the region returning to normal.

The minister said that attempts to normalise the situation are thwarted by China’s military buildup near the border, its inflated territorial claims, its aggressive intrusions, and its adoption of hegemonic attitudes.

Wang made it clear during his conversations with the NSA that China would never aim for hegemony. He is prepared to collaborate with emerging nations like India in favour of multilateralism, democratisation of international relations, and the advancement of a more just and equitable global order.

 

China playing old dirty tricks

Every time India draws attention to China’s massive military buildup near the LAC, Beijing repeats same rhetoric in response. The Indian Defence Ministry’s collection of satellite images attests to India’s security worries along the western Himalayan frontier.

The fourth year of the India-China military confrontation has begun. Numerous conferences between senior government and military leaders to discuss and resolve the impasse have produced nothing. The 3,500-kilometer disputed border appears to be becoming more volatile.

Soldiers from opposing sides engaged in combat in December of last year in the Chinese- and India-claimed state of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. Eleven locations in Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls to as South Tibet, have new names in Chinese as of last month. It has given new names to mountains, rivers, and other geographic features in the area three times in the last six years.

The decision was opposed by India, but the spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Mao Ning, defended it by claiming that “Zangram” (Arunachal Pradesh) is a part of China. China has employed this strategy in various Asian regions to support its claim to disputed lands. Additionally, it has changed the names of places in the East and South China Seas.

 

India, China tussle in Ladakh

The Union government has very wisely—though belatedly—made the essential decision to construct connectivity and infrastructure in all its elements in the Ladakh area, given the region’s strategic relevance to the planning for northern security. Indian planners have been greatly inspired by China’s CPEC proposal to improve and maximise connection to the LAC in the western Himalayas.

 

India upgrading Ladakh connectivity

The Indian Defence Ministry is taking the required actions to maximise the delivery capability of Indian forces in the hostile area. China may produce more highly advanced combat machines than India, but India has far more experience battling on the Himalayan peaks than China has.

In order to dispel the idea that the Himalayan region is inaccessible, India has set out on a two-pronged campaign. The mission to upgrade the entire Manali-Leh road as well as construct the key Atal tunnel was successfully completed.

Connectivity between Jammu, Srinagar, Zojila, Kargil, and Leh is the second mission. The four-lane motorway linking Jammu and Srinagar is nearly finished. The Srinagar-Leh road is now being expanded and four-laned.

The tunnelling of Zojila Pass, which is located on the Srinagar-Leh road at a height of 12,000 feet, is, however, the most notable accomplishment. Prime Minister Modi opened this magnificent engineering achievement in May 2018.

The two-lane Zojila Tunnel will be built using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method and will be 9.5 metres wide and 7.75 metres high. An engineering marvel, the 14.15-kilometer tunnel is located at a height of more than 11500 feet. Once finished in 2026, it will guarantee year-round communication with Leh.

The project’s price tag is pegged at 68.09 billion rupees. Six kilometres of the 14.15 km of tunnel excavation have been finished, according to senior project manager Burhan Andrabi, and construction on the third bridge is currently under progress.

The majority of the workers on the project are locals. Two twin-tube tunnels, four bridges, two snow galleries, and a 2.3-kilometer cut-and-cover construction will all be part of the highway.

After the tunnel is finished, the current 40-kilometer distance between Baltal and Meenamarg will be reduced to 13 kilometres. The defence potential of the border with China and Pakistan along the Himalayas must be significantly strengthened in order to provide year-round connectivity to the Ladakh area and the LAC.

In anticipation of a time when the railway will be extended from Srinagar to Leh, the tunnel has also been built. There are already plans in place to extend the railway from Baramulla to Uri.

The 73-km stretch from Khannabal to Chandanwari would be built at a cost of Rs 1800 Cr, according to a recent announcement by the Union Minister of Roads and Highways, who is overseeing these enormous infrastructure projects.

Along the Sheshnag to Panjtarani length, a 10.8 km long tunnel will also be built as part of the project. The initiative will shorten the three-day travel time from Srinagar to the Amarnath cave shrine to 8–9 hours.

The expansive network that connects the Himalayan region to the rest of the nation via motorable roads, highways, tunnels, bridges, by-passes, etc., should not only be considered from a strategic and security standpoint.

Along with this, it has other crucial aspects like improved trade, tourism, pilgrimage tourism, undeveloped natural resources, etc.

With the Khannabal-Panchtarani link, new townships will have all the attributes that Kashmiri Pandits had imagined for their homeland in the Marg Darshan resolution of 1990.

This massive infrastructure investment promises to catapult the entire state of Kashmir to unprecedented wealth while bringing Kashmir closer to the rest of India.

When these engineering wonders are finished, Kashmir will hold the title of having some of the highest airports, tunnels, and places of pilgrimage in the whole globe.